SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The misdemeanor charges were dropped, but Juana Reyes is still fighting to stay in this country.
Reyes was selling tamales in front of a South Sacramento Walmart for two years and was arrested. What happened for 13 days afterwards is why people here are protesting.
Surrounded by a crowd of supporters, Reyes, a mom who never really wanted any attention, is now the face of the Trust Act that is designed to keep undocumented immigrants out of jail during the deportation process. After the second time Walmart security asked her to stop selling tamales and leave, Reyes got arrested in front of her 7-year-old and 10-year-old kids.
“He put us in patrol vehicle with me and my children. He had us in patrol vehicle for over an hour,” said Reyes via a translator.
“The officer told me they’re gonna send my mom to Mexico and were never gonna see her,” said Reyes’ son.
Reyes’ misdemeanor charges were dropped, but she was held in jail for 13 days awaiting deportation charges.
“It’s not fair or just what they are doing to me. I am fighting for my children,” said Reyes.
She shows a picture of her bloodied ankle, claiming she got hurt by cuffs in jail. All the while, her children were put in foster care.
“That makes me feel sad when I was at foster home. I felt bad, crying for my mom,” said Reyes’ son.
The kids begged neighbors for bond money to get mom out.
“My friends were knocking on doors to get money to take out my mom,” said Reyes’ son.
Protesters argue Reyes should’ve been allowed home after the misdemeanors were dropped.
“Moms and working people held at our expense, trapped in our jails for extended periods of time,” said supporter Jon Rodney.
If the Trust Act passes, only serious offenders would be held for deportation purposes.
“It’s releasing criminals back into our community,” said Curtis Hill with California State Sheriffs’ Association.
A retired sheriff, Hill says they don’t want to let criminals off the hook too easy.
“Slow erosion of the process creates further victims,” said Hill.
He went on to say the Sheriffs’ Association is against the Trust Act, saying it’s a threat to public safety. The Act passed in the senate and now is up to the assembly.